GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 23 March) — A person under investigation (PUI) for the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) who died last week in a hospital in Koronadal City has turned out negative of the virus.
Dr. Rogelio Aturdido Jr., chief of the South Cotabato Integrated Provincial Health Office, said in a briefing on Monday the deceased patient was among the six PUIs from the province who tested negative of COVID-19 based on the results released over the weekend by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).
He was referring to the 51-year-old male patient who succumbed last March 17 due to severe acute respiratory illness, one of the identified symptoms of COVID-19.
“This should ease the worry of our residents regarding that case. Rest assured that we are doing everything to prevent the spread of this disease in our area,” Aturdido said.
As of Monday, the official said a total of 16 PUIs, including the deceased, have so far tested negative of COVID-19.
He said the 15 other patients have not manifested symptoms of the deadly disease and were already discharged.
Aturdido said four swab samples were to be sent today to the RITM while the results of four others are still pending.
For the persons under monitoring (PUM), he said a total of 1,646 individuals are undergoing the 14-day mandatory home quarantine and 656 have completed the observation protocol without any sign and symptom of COVID-19.
Despite these developments, the official urged residents to remain in their homes and strictly follow the 14-day “calibrated total lockdown” being implemented by the provincial government.
The lockdown, which banned non-essential travels in and out of the province and restricted the movements of people within the 11 localities, took effect last Saturday.
Aturdido called on the remaining PUMs to strictly follow the protocols until the end of their quarantine period.
“There were still some PUMs who were not complying with the protocol. They should not wait for our authorities to find them,” he said.
He added that they have directed the municipal health offices, local surveillance officers and the barangay health emergency response teams to intensify the monitoring of the PUMs.